Presenter Information

Leonard L. Cavise J.D.


The purpose of the Chiapas Human Rights Practicum of DePaul University College of Law is to expose students to poverty in the hopes that they will choose careers in human rights or public service. Reasons why traditional law school programs do not encourage public service are delineated. The practicum’s history and the experiences and observations of students who have participated are described. The program encourages students to think about the causes of poverty, how they might effect change as lawyers, and how the legal system might better serve poor persons. The Chiapas experience has inspired students to undertake many different types of projects on their return to raise awareness about what is happening there and to help persons who are poor in general. Many suggestions are made about how students might learn from other kinds of vulnerable communities, how else they might be inspired to work in public service, and what DePaul and other law schools should be doing toward this end.